Editorial: The economic crisis is not a never-ending story

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jk1921
Editorial: The economic crisis is not a never-ending story
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Editorial: The economic crisis is not a never-ending story. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
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jk1921
Hi, This is a good article,

Hi,

This is a good article, particularly in showing how the economic crisis conditions the political crisis and vice versa. I am not entirely sure I understand the title though, what exactly is it trying to say? That the crisis will lead to a collapse at some point? The article does indeed make this argument in the first paragraph

The idea that capitalism will "collapse" is very contentious. What does this mean exactly? There is a long controversy on this question: Pannekoek rejected the idea that capitalism would collapse, Gorter and the KAPD embraced it for a while, etc. Perhaps it is worth reviewing this controversy and determining its relevance to today's crisis? An article on this question would be welcome.

Similary, the article argues that none of the bourgeois policies will be effective in mitigating the crisis, even in the "medium term." But what does "medium term" mean exactly? The article then seems to contradict itself a little later on arguing that the "monetize the debt" strategy does seem to have certain immediate virtues as a policy over the harsh austerity approach. So, all policies are not equally bankrupt? In what term? Immediate? Short?, but not medium?

Clearly, I think that there are certain policy prescriptions which just make more sense from the point of view of the national capital. None of these can efface the root crisis, but this doesn't mean some policies aren't more "responsible" from the point of view of the national captial than others. Although,  it may be true that these policies aren't the same in every country. It has been said that the European countries have no choice but to enage in austerity, but for the U.S.--as the world's reserve currency--the imperative is simply not as immediate, which makes the policies of the Tea Party and the Republican right seem totally suicidal--in the immediate term.

Once again, and it is something I have been noticing in the IR articles on the economy, there seems to be a real tendency to underestimate the signifigance of the Tea Party in the U.S. I am not so sure, as the article seems to suggest, that this wing of the U.S. bourgeoisie really gives much of a damn about trying to address the problems of the national captial in a rational way. I am not sure there is even a real debate there. They seem to have devolved into pure ideology. In the long term (or is it medium?), their rhetoric over the national debt may prove to be right--but in the same way that a broken clock is right twice a day. Moreover, these articles continue to hammer home the threat of massive inflation--something which simply hasn't happened yet, despite all expectations. Why not? It seems there is something going on in the economy that we are missing?

I did really like the more general theoretical exploration of debt and credit. One thing that seems to emerge from this is the fact that debt seems to explode value itself: basically the entire system is more and more operating in a suspension of the law of value. How long can it keep this up? I have no idea. Someone once said that things that can't go on forever, won't, but does that mean that a "collapse" of captialsm is the inevitable result?

 

 

Fred
The thing that struck me most

The thing that struck me most about this article was the question "Why can't the bourgeoisie find a solution to the crisis?" The implied answer seems to be that there isn't one; although jk refers to authorities who appear to have suggested that capitalism might just stagger on and on. This would be the worst of all possible worlds for suffering humanity, whose future agonies under interminable decomposition (terminable only by the end of time itself - for humanity that is!) are unimaginable.

The question "why can't the bourgeoisie find a solution" made me wonder "why can't the proletariat find a solution." Or, more exactly, why can't the proletariat impose it's solution? Or,even more precisely, why doesn't the proletariat start imposing its solution now? This article, having a great deal to say about the difficulties facing the bourgeoisie and its ghastly moribund economy, doesn't have much to say about this. It mentions various strikes and demos round the world - there's the Occupiers of course - and is enthusiastic about almost non-stop worker struggles in China. But what about the workers in China? Are there any organizations of militants there? Do workers even have internet access to say the ICC, ICT, Klasbatalo or Eretik in their paradisiacal communist state? I doubt it! So how are they to re-discover their role as the bearers of communism and their proletarian legacy?

And how are things going to play out for the working class internationally? Will there be a sudden Luxemburgian moment -as in 1905 and certainly
again in 1917 - when fructifying waves of class consciouness swept over the working class, via the mass strikes and the enormous solidarity which these generated. And where, in 1917, at least in Russia, there was a party of well-honed militants in the form of the Bolsheviks, ready to elaborate the way forward. Will something similar happen again? Will real waves of genuine class consciouness once again sweep the planet. and will the Party be ready to play it's part? The proletarian revolution is not a never- ending story just being talked about for ever. We have to do it and do it soon if we're to do it at all. And we need the party.

lem_
i didn't read what was said

i didn't read what was said closely... but i tend to agree that capitalism won't collapse per se, just get worse. this doesn't mean i think civilization can't end, though perhaps it couldn't literally revert to feudalism.

anyway, the question of whether that, if it happens, is a prediction of marx's is kinda pointless. maybe best to ask what he thought were the likely outcomes. naturally, that is socialism or the ruin of the classes.

 

perhaps a bourgeois that in some sense cannot grant reforms [for whatever reason - i would say not just economic but social / ethical bankrupcy] is ruined. perhaps the tide of history has shifted away from reformism being capital's staple for its survival, to defence of past reforms - which would presumably entail greater emphasis for its effect on the ballot box rather than the work place.

anyway, whatever you think of nuclear war, global disastar or technological control of civilians, it strikes me that we are living in a pressure cooker right now. like before, i would guess that the likely scape goats will be jewish people, communists etc.. i can't see islam getting a kicking forever, i see that as a simple [and not so extreme, even!] reaction to the bourgeois completely losing its faith in god.

 

a question i would like to ask would be whether the bourgeois is becoming more powerful relative to the working class, if it could consruct a genocide as soon as it needed it...